The Modern Etiquette Guide to Hostess Gifts

The Modern Etiquette Guide to Hostess Gifts


Not all hostess gifts come equal… While you may bring a good bottle of wine or a designer scented candle to a dinner party, you’ll want to splurge a little more if you’re staying with someone for a few days to a week.

If you have no idea how much you should be spending on a hostess gift, a good guide to follow is to estimate how much they’re spending on your dinner/stay/etc. If you’re ravaging their fridge and wine cellar every day for a week, it might warrant a bigger present than if you were simply crashing their couch, and drinking their tap water for two days.

Keep your budget in mind while shopping too. While you might want to splurge on a nice gift for a friend who’s hosting you over the Holidays, there’s no reason to open a credit line for it. Make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re spending, and that goes for all gifts.

These rules, of course are only suggestions, as it’s the intentions that count in the end. Which brings me to my next point: thoughtfulness, and personalization trumps the price tag. Getting something that’s significant to the host can go a long way, even if just a tiny gift.

Also, when in doubt, monogram. A gift will always more thought out if it’s monogrammed. But bear in mind it can take a week to ten days to get something monogrammed, so plan ahead.

Here are a few ideas that have proven to be crowd pleasers over the years: a scented candle (and I don’t mean Glade), a nice scarf, a coffee table book (or cookbook), leather gloves, luxury bath products.




Photo: Diana Yen for Lonny